A Woman of Valor Indeed, Henny Machlis

Thursday, 22 October, 2015 - 2:56 pm

Last Friday our family suffered the loss of Malkie’s aunt, Henny Machlis, who passed away at age 58 following a long and difficult illness. She is survived by her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Machlis – a special man in his own right - and their large family, including several children still in their teens. She is also survived by her mother, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and many others who were touched by her life.

The Machlises are most renowned for their amazing open home in Jerusalem. Each Friday night over one hundred people participate in their Shabbat meal and Shabbat morning is a repeat of the same. People from every walk of life find food for body and soul at their home. Tens of thousands passed through the doors of the Machlis home and each one was impacted for the better as a result. Their dedication and selflessness is legendary. Just google Henny Machlis and read the fascinating accounts of people’s experiences at their home.

But beyond all of the well-deserved hype, Henny was one of the most unique individuals that I have ever met. I first met her at the time of my wedding 19 years ago. Over the years I had the occasion to see her when we were in NY and they were visiting at the same time. The last time was at my nephew’s Bris this summer when she was in NY to undergo treatment for the illness that claimed her life.

She combined a rare mix of qualities that are not often found in the same person. On one hand she was very intelligent, a person who constantly learned and possessed depth along with a strong intellectual curiosity to learn more. One could not have a conversation with her without sharing something in Torah learning. On the other hand she was all heart. She had a gigantic smile, a warm and bubbly personality that put a person at ease, and she truly cared about people. She never made anyone feel that they were talking to some superior person that is beyond their stature. She was very down to earth and practical while at the same time extremely idealistic and had very high standards for herself. She had a way of doing special things without making a big deal of it while simultaneously making others feel comfortable with not aspiring to those same achievements.

Henny oozed positivity. Despite many challenges in life she always remained upbeat and never let on that anything was troubling her. She told her daughters that she wanted to put a sign above her hospital bed stating “No Questions Here.” Her great faith in Hashem’s inherent kindness was unshakable by distress and this is a legacy that she worked very hard to impart to her family. She never had anything negative to say about anyone. Only happy and good things. She was a beacon of happiness to all who encountered her.

Her passing leaves a great void. Rabbi Machlis and the children are committed to keeping their home open. To learn more about what they do and to support this effort go to

At the funeral the family chanted Eishet Chayil – the woman of valor. She was one woman who truly deserved all of the praise. It was heart-rending to hear her husband cry out the passage “Strength and splendor are her clothing, and smilingly she awaits her last day.” May Hashem comfort our uncle Mordechai and his family and all those mourning her passing, among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. May we very soon merit the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Death will be swallowed up forever and Hashem will wipe the tears from upon all faces!”

Condolences to Miriam and Ben Schenker upon the passing of her grandmother, Mrs. Jenya Lorbert.

Mazel Tov to Rabbi Shmuel and Rivky Kaufmann, and grandparents Dr. David and Nechama Kaufmann, upon the birth of their son.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

Comments on: A Woman of Valor Indeed, Henny Machlis
There are no comments.